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Public meeting over Holland Lake Lodge expansion set for Oct. 4

Graphic: Montana news from Montana Public Radio

A proposed expansion to a historic lakeside lodge in Swan Valley has drawn more than 5,600 public comments on the U.S. Forest Service website. MTPR’s Austin Amestoy reports a public meeting on the proposal is set for Tuesday, October 4.

Many of the submitted comments voice concern over potential impacts on the environment near the Holland Lake Lodge, located between the Mission and Swan mountain ranges.

The lodge’s current owner seeks to partner with Utah-based ski resort company, POWDR, to expand the site. According to documents submitted to the Forest Service, plans include constructing a new 13,000-square-foot lodge and two dozen new cabins, while five existing cabins would be removed.

According to records from the Forest Service website, commenters urged the lodge’s owners and POWDR to “scale back” plans. Some asked for an in-depth study of the expansion's potential environmental impacts. A citizen group called “Save Holland Lake” released a statement Monday asking the Flathead National Forest Service to extend public comment beyond the Oct. 7 deadline and deny POWDR’s permit to develop on public land.

Holland Lake sits along the edge of the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

The lodge’s owner told the Montana Free Press in September the goal of the expansion was to secure an “income structure” to keep the lodge financially sound.

The public meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Seeley Lake Elementary School.

Austin graduated from the University of Montana’s journalism program in May 2022. He came to MTPR as an evening newscast intern that summer, and jumped at the chance to join full-time as the station’s morning voice in Fall 2022.